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Author Topic: Going Beyond the Points: Alternative Ways of Acquiring Powers  (Read 946 times)

RPGPundit

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Going Beyond the Points: Alternative Ways of Acquiring Powers
« on: December 05, 2006, 02:45:37 PM »
In my last Amber campaign, I put together an innovation that at the time I thought was very risky.
In it, I decided that anyone who wanted to could gain a new power, without spending points, if they could either get access to it, or find someone to teach it to them.

In other words, the only thing they needed to do to gain Pattern was to walk the pattern and survive. Or, if they wanted trump, all they had to do was learn it from someone and spend the necessary time doing so.

Otherwise, they could still spend points to get any of the basic powers, and doing so meant they didn't need a tutor. Advanced powers could still only be learnt by point expenditure, and of course you already had to have the basic power first.

I thought this "risky" at the time because I was worried this could lead to massive power escalation.  But it didn't.
My players learned very quickly that getting a power "for free" from someone else often had a much bigger in-game cost, that you usually had to pay for in the form of favours or alliance, or generally becoming your teacher's bitch.

In a standard (high-competition) game, this option ended up working great, as it added a new dimension to the game.

Has anyone else tried doing this? Was it as successful as it was in my campaign?
Has anyone else done anything else as a way to gain new powers besides the standard method?

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James McMurray

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Going Beyond the Points: Alternative Ways of Acquiring Powers
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2006, 02:48:36 PM »
I haven't done it in Amber but I've done it in other games. My players rarely take me up on it for the reasons you gave. Spending points is so much easier than fulfilling obligations. Of course, they didn't realize that fulfilling the obligations would give them more XP, and thereby make them stronger still, but that't probably for the better. :)

Otha

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Going Beyond the Points: Alternative Ways of Acquiring Powers
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2006, 06:31:36 AM »
There's two kinds of players.

There's one kind that says, "Wow.  If my character does this, he's likely to get screwed.  I better make sure he doesn't."

The other says, "Wow.  If my character does this, he's likely to get screwed.  I better make sure he does."
 

finarvyn

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Going Beyond the Points: Alternative Ways of Acquiring Powers
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2006, 03:14:28 PM »
Pundit, do you use a partial powers system?

The reason why I ask is that in the ADRP rules the points needed for most of the powers are pretty huge, and if a GM wanted to "balance" the camapign it might take a huge amount of Bad Stuff to offset gaining a full power. (Which I try to do wherever possible, although many GMs do not.)

For example, a person walks the Pattern (cost of 50) and I determine that she only has 15 CP "in the bank" from experience. I would have to assign a Bad Stuff value of -35 just to keep that character's points in line. Or throw in an enemy, break their pattern sword, or in some other way insert quite a chunk of disadvantages to the character.

However, with partial powers the jump would be much less severe. Characters could gain small chunks of power gradually and wouldn't need to have so many negatives all at the same time.

On the other hand, if a group is REALLY into the role aspect of the game, that group may be able to handle the fact that one player has significantly more points than another. I'm not really sure.
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RPGPundit

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Going Beyond the Points: Alternative Ways of Acquiring Powers
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2006, 10:31:02 PM »
I have used partial powers in the past, I didn't this time, since this choice of mine made it less necessary.

RPGPundit
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ARROWS OF INDRA
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The new Diceless RPG of multiversal power, adventure and intrigue, now available.